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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Archaeointensity results spanning the past 6 kiloyears from eastern China and implications for extreme behaviors of the geomagnetic field

  • Author(s): Cai, S
  • Jin, G
  • Tauxe, L
  • Deng, C
  • Qin, H
  • Pan, Y
  • Zhu, R
  • et al.

Variations of the Earth's geomagnetic field during the Holocene are important for understanding centennial to millennial-scale processes of the Earth's deep interior and have enormous potential implications for chronological correlations (e.g., comparisons between different sedimentary recording sequences, archaeomagnetic dating). Here, we present 21 robust archaeointensity data points from eastern China spanning the past ∼6 kyr. These results add significantly to the published data both regionally and globally. Taking together, we establish an archaeointensity reference curve for Eastern Asia, which can be used for archaeomagnetic dating in this region. Virtual axial dipole moments (VADMs) of the data range from a Holocene-wide low of ∼27 to "spike" values of ∼166 ZAm2 (Z: 1021). The results, in conjunction with our recently published data, confirm the existence of a decrease in paleointensity (DIP) in China around ∼2200 BCE. These low intensities are the lowest ever found for the Holocene and have not been reported outside of China. We also report a spike intensity of 165.8 ± 6.0 ZAm2 at ∼1300 BCE (±300 y), which is either a prelude to or the same event (within age uncertainties) as spikes first reported in the Levant.

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